Donors of Arcadia’s Jones Poundstone Society Gather to Celebrate! The Joy of Giving

November 2, 2020 Caitlin Burns

Word cloud about reasons to give to Arcadia University, created by donors

During the event, donors were asked to share one word that describes their reason for giving to Arcadia.

Loyalty, gratitude, responsibility, scholarship. These are just a few of the words our Jones Poundstone Society (JPS) donors shared when asked to provide one word that describes their reason for giving during Arcadia’s second annual leadership donor recognition event, Celebrate! The Joy of Giving on Thursday, Oct. 22. Hosted by President Ajay Nair and Mrs. Paayal Nair, the event’s virtual platform this year provided the opportunity for JPS donors near and far to join a celebration of their Impact Philanthropy to Arcadia University.

As part of Celebrate! The Joy of Giving, the inaugural donors of the Jones Poundstone Society were treated to a special evening of exclusive programming, which included the opportunity to attend a special discussion of their choice. Whether donors joined the discussion with the President’s Cabinet about Arcadia2025, attended a panel on the future of global education, took a front-row seat to experience the artistic process from a painter’s perspective, discovered strategies behind Arcadia’s life-changing Gateway to Success program, or took a deeper look at groundbreaking research conducted at Arcadia, each breakout session offered a guided tour of the impact of their collective support within the campus community.

In shared remarks throughout the event, President Nair, Jones Poundstone Society Co-Chairs Susan Smyth Shenker '69 and Lynn Darling Hendershot '66, and Vice President for Development and Alumni Engagement Brigette A. Bryant all spoke with the utmost gratitude and appreciation for the profound generosity of JPS donors. Junior English major and aspiring educator, Daijah Patton ’22, captivated and inspired guests with her intellect, passion, and personal story about the transformative educational experience she has had at Arcadia University when addressing those in virtual attendance. 

“I tell a lot of students when they come to visit the University and when they're thinking about coming to Arcadia that what they can do here is limitless,” Patton said. Like many Arcadia students, Patton has found that within the University’s close-knit community there are extraordinary opportunities, which have heightened her curiosity, allowed her to dream big, and create her own bright future. Even when the pandemic took away all that was familiar to Daijah and her classmates, she refused to permit those challenges to slow her down. Instead, she found inspiration from the creatively adaptable and compassionate people at Arcadia to accomplish even more. 

“It's so encouraging to see people like you giving back to this amazingly innovative community, especially for students like me that are in the middle and working classes,” Patton said. “With this pandemic at the forefront of everything that we usually have to worry about, my gratitude for your support at this current moment of time is enormous.” For the Jones Poundstone Society donors, Patton’s words were a clear and palpable reminder of what their annual support really means.

Nearly one year ago to the day in 2019, the first annual Celebrate! The Joy of Giving event marked the official launch of Arcadia’s new Jones Poundstone Society, which as fully intended, shifted the philanthropic landscape at Arcadia University.

“What each of you has done this past year proves to me that there is no challenge that we cannot overcome; that there is nothing that can eclipse the power, the generosity, the passion, the dedication, and the talent of this University community,” President Nair said. 

With the launch of the Jones Poundstone Society in the fall of 2019, the 144 inaugural donors played a significant role in helping Arcadia surpass its fundraising goal of $3 million in 2020—the first time in several years that the University has not only met, but exceeded its annual goal. With a new high watermark of $565,000 for The Fund for Arcadia, our unrestricted fund, JPS donors contributed nearly $445,000 to the University with 90 percent immediately supporting the University’s strategic priorities, all in support of students. 

As Vice President for Development and Alumni Engagement Brigette A. Bryant emphasized, “This is the power of a united, caring community. This is the power of compound giving. This is the power of the Jones Poundstone Society.”

Bryant also expressed a confident outlook for the success of the Jones Poundstone Society in 2021. “Momentum begets momentum. We are now in the first half of fiscal year 2021, and I am pleased to report that at this time, we have a total of 21 JPS donors who have already renewed their leadership support. Currently, we have more JPS donors than we had at this same time last year.”

Fueled by the vision of the Jones Poundstone Society Co-Chairs, and in recognition of 168 years as an institution, Arcadia is aiming to reach 168 Jones Poundstone Society donors by May 31, 2021.

For more information about Arcadia’s Jones Poundstone Society visit, Arcadia.edu/JPSociety.

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